Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lora Black: A voice of Classical music in Lincoln

A picture of Lora Black in the studio.
In Lincoln, Lora Black is a familiar voice on Classical NET Radio, 91.1FM. Her warm and friendly voice is heard on the airwaves for “Afternoon Concert” each weekday and during “Classics by Request” on Friday afternoons. Black loves Classical music, and believes that it has something for everyone—so read on and then tune in this Friday for “Classics by Request” from 1:00-4:00pm when Black will be playing one of her favorite pieces, a Brandenburg Concerto, as well as many pieces that are requests from around the state.
If you have a request, call it in: 402-472-7722

When did you first discover Classical music?
When I was in High School. I bought 2 LP records, The 50 best classical music selections albums. This will date me, but I played them over and over again on my record player! And, of course, hearing all the music of Bach and Handel in church made me a big fan.

What is your background in Classical music? Did you plan on this career as announcer for Classical music radio?
I did have one class in T.V. and Radio, and did a DJ stint on the campus radio station. I'd always wanted a career using my voice, and all the stars aligned 20 years ago, when a weekend morning job opened up at NETRadio. I worked weekends for 7 years, and had my own one-hour classical music show on early Sunday morning. When several of our senior staff left the station, I was offered the afternoon concert slot. I have a request show on Friday afternoons, and I also am the local host for NPR'S All Things Considered. I have a passion for classical music, and I'd like to think that I project that to my audience.

What is your favorite part of working for NET Radio?
I think the best part of my job, is getting to meet all the people I do. Listeners always introduce themselves to me, and it is like meeting long lost friends. People from all walks of life make up our Classical music audience, and it is an honor to 'talk' with them daily.

Do you have a favorite piece, composer, and/or time period of Classical music?
I love Baroque music. Of course, you know, these questions are like asking which is my favorite child! I have had several contests over the years, asking listeners for their top 10 and their top 5 lists. How many folks wrote in, saying the same was agonizing for them to narrow it down! Getting back to your question, Vivaldi is a favorite, and I love the Bach Brandenburg Concertos. But, I love Mozart, Beethoven, Phillip Glass, Alan Hovhaness and Joseph Curiale, and so many more!
If I was limited to only one recording to have on a deserted island, it would have to be Beethoven's 9th Symphony...actually, the top recording world-wide! Ode to Joy is a universal theme...understood in any language.

What would you tell people who aren’t sure if they want to start listening to Classical music?
I would have to say tune in some Friday afternoon, and hear the requests made from all over the state. I bet you will hear something familiar. Just give it a listen, and then note how you feel after a Chopin nocturne, or hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's rendition of Amazing Grace, with bagpipes. I bet that they might just feel a little bit better, maybe their job got a little easier, or maybe even brought a memory or tear to their eye. We don't play the top 40, but we play music that has lasted hundreds of years and passed down to us today. Classical music is all around us...whether it is a selection performed at a wedding, or movies or even television commercials. Classical music has something for everyone!

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